I am thrilled to introduce a new project that is very near and dear to my heart — My Imagination Sessions for children. These are sessions that celebrate the magic of childhood and transform it in unique, custom works of art. Each session starts with a questionnaire that helps me to get to know the child — his or her favorite things, dreams, and imaginative ideas. I collaborate with the parents and child to design a session concept taken from these ideas and then bring it to life — with behind-the-scenes magic and a little pixie dust!
Introducing our newest superhero, Super Reading Girl!
Super Reading Girl is the alter ego of eight-year old Jasmine of Bentonville, Arkansas. Jasmine loves to read (even as we took breaks in shooting she had her nose in a book), and to play with her little sister, Jianna.
This session felt uniquely personal to me, because when I believe it’s the closest I could ever come to a conceptual self-portrait of when I was 8 years old. Decades have passed, but working with Jasmine brought me back to when I was 8 and reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume and the Beezus and Ramona books by Beverly Cleary, and so many more. I remember writing in school, just like Jasmine did, about the super powers that I would have if I could. Super Reading Girl can fly and can be invisible when she wants to be. I wanted to be able to run really fast and to have a photographic memory.
I also loved seeing Jasmine and Jianna playing together. Jasmine read to Jianna as Jianna clutched her special Teddy, and they played together — acting out the story of the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse from the Aesop’s Fables book given to them by their beloved Aunt Jessica, and with Jasmin as the doctor tending to Jianna’s “injured” ballerina doll.
Here’s the video of our session highlights:
But perhaps my favorite part of working on this series was that I often found myself picking up old favorite kids books and getting lost in their pages. It turns out I still love reading them just as much as when I was a kid. (Apparently I’m not alone – I was thrilled when best-selling author and former Supreme Court Clerk Gretchen Rubin confessed her secret love of children’s literature — and that she had started an underground Kidlit book club with other adult friends who shared her passion. Bentonville friends, I would love to do this if anyone is interested!). I have a new appreciation for them as an adult, and find they inspire me as much as ever. Some of my favorites were The Phantom Tollbooth, No Flying In The House, and the Anne of Green Gables series. I must have read A Little Princess at least 100 times by the time I was 10, and Little Lord Fauntleroy holds no less appeal for me now than it did then! I was in college when the first Harry Potter book was published, but when Books 6 and 7 of the series came out, I waited in line for my pre-released copy (among dozens of children) — and made sure my husband had his own (because I was NOT sharing). In these pages I could fly, cast spells, fall in love, make new friends, and visit distant lands.
Reading them still makes me feel like a superhero. Thank you, Jasmine, for sharing your magic with me!
Do you love to read? What were your favorite books as a child? What are your favorite children’s books today? Share in the comments!